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Wisconsin Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: Is it normal to pay yourself a wage for working on the estate?

To save on costs, us 4 siblings are doing the house clean up, painting, items inventory to be sold off. One sibling has been keeping track of the hours worked on the estate (but hasn’t asked us to do the same, but claims she has been keeping track for us) doing all this and wants to pay us all an... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 12, 2020

You can do that if you all agree but keep in mind that by doing so you are converting tax free inheritance money into taxable ordinary income.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: My condo is in an irrevocable family trust and I am the trustee. My husband has died and what happens if I remarry?

I will have a name change and nothing in the trust addresses this.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 23, 2019

The name change is not an issue. If it needs to be addressed at a future time in connection with the sale of trust property it can easily be done at that time. You should consult with an attorney before you remarry to make sure you understand the effect of remarriage on your rights under the trust.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: Adult child dies after being raised by father and stepmother. Does the mother still have right to 50% of his estate?

Adult child was 59 years old and had seen his estranged mother 1 time since before he was a teenager. His father and stepmother raised him and he lived with them until he passed. He died and named his estate as the beneficiary of his 401k. He had a named beneficiary for life insurances and... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 20, 2019

If he had no surviving spouse or children, yes, that is quite likely. THAT is why it is important for everyone to have an estate plan. Reason #1 (out of at least a dozen reasons), is to make sure your stuff goes to who you want.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: If my father said in his will I am to be paid first payment of a trust before 12/31/19 of the year of his death?

Is the above upheld regardless of when probate ends?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Nov 18, 2019

If the trust was created by the Will, such as a testamentary trust created inside his Will, then the trust may not come into effect until the probate has finished. It depends on the wording of the Will. If the Trust was created on its own, outside the Will, then the Trust should not have to go... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: what are the risks to using probate rather than a trust in florida?

My great aunt just passed (she lived and drafted her documents in Florida). her attorney is advising using probate rather than the trust. why do this? what's the point of doing a trust then?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jun 12, 2019

If your Aunt has a properly set up Trust, then the best way to avoid probate is often to have the assets pass through the Trust. I do not know the specifics of this situation, but it is possible that your Aunt set up the Trust but did not properly fund the trust (meaning she didn't transfer... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: We have a cabin & have 2 sons. We want to give one son 1/2 of what the cabin is worth. Say it's worth $150,000.

We would give the one son $75,000. Say when we die the one that has the cabin wants to sell. He would be pocketing $150,000. We realized the other son only got $75,000. This is not right though. So would we write up that the one son that got the cash would get another $37,500? Which would then be... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on May 28, 2019

It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If I understand correctly you want to gift $75,000 in cash to one son today. Instead of cash, you plan to leave the other son your cabin at death. You could order an appraisal of the cabin now and figure out what it is worth. If it is worth exactly... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: My father passed away and I am the sole heir, his girlfriend lives in his house for 5 years and does not pay rent.

Can I change the locks on his garages while we try to get her out of the house?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on May 21, 2019

You should see if your father executed a Will before he died. If he had a Will, this document will state what was to happen to his assets and should name a Personal Representative in charge of the Estate. Your Father's house is now owned by his Estate, and unless his Will stated that his... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Limited power of attorney was not signed exactly as the name was printed. Will it still be valid/accepted?

The name listed at the top of the document is First, middle, last name. However, it was signed as First name, middle initial (only, not whole middle name) and last name. I also have a copy of his drivers license in his whole name, but with the signature the same as on POA: First, MI, Last name, to... Read more »

Akin Williams
Akin Williams answered on May 6, 2019

Powers of attorney are very strictly construed.

The power of attorney you refer to, may well be rejected on the basis that there is a discrepancy in the name of the donee as it is not identical with the name stated on the Power of Attorney.

In addition to the proof of ID which you...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Wisconsin on
Q: As a beneficiary of my recently deceased parents, how can I obtain a copy of their initial Will, which was drawn up by

an attorney many years ago? Last August, 2018, it was then revised, of which I did receive a copy (of that revised one).

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 17, 2019

The old Will was likely revoked when they executed the new Will. You can only have one Will at a time, so when you execute a new Will you usually include specific language revoking the old Will. The other way to revoke a Will is by physically destroying it. It is possible your parents shredded or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: How do I file to become a Personal Representative for my deceased Uncle’s assests. He lived in West Allis, WI

He died in February and left no Will. He owned a home and has a checking and money market account, that we have no access to.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 1, 2019

Hello, I am sorry to hear about your Uncle's passing. If you want to become appointed as Personal Representative of his Estate, you will need to file an Application for Informal Administration, or an Application for Formal Administration to Open the Probate, as well as a Consent to Serve Form,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: My father is buried in a dbl plot. My mother just passed and was cremated. We have the will with her wishes

Can daughter bury urn herself into the ground?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Feb 5, 2019

I would check with the person in charge of the Cemetery to see if they have any rules about who is allowed to bury the ashes. Generally, I have had other clients say they were allowed to bury an urn in a burial plot they own. It sounds like your father has a double plot so he should be able to do... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Wisconsin on
Q: My Mother had left me 50% of her home, but was sold for her care.

my mother inherited $140,000 while in care, am I left now with nothing.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Dec 13, 2018

Hello, I am sorry to hear about your situation. This sounds like a situation where perhaps your Mother was receiving Medicaid assistance to pay for her long-term care? There are not enough details here to answer your question fully, but if your Mother left you 50% of her home in her Will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Will my American will still be valid if my spouse and I pass away while living abroad?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Nov 28, 2018

Yes, your Will will still be valid in the United States if you should pass away while living abroad. As long as you are a United States Citizen and maintain residency in one of the 50 States in the United States, then the laws of the state where you have established domicile should govern and your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a irrevocable trust be used by a legal guardian of parent in nursing home?

Worried that they will use it for their own benefit.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Oct 3, 2018

If your question is whether the legal guardian can access the trust funds, it depends on whether the legal guardian is also the person named as trustee in the trust. If they are named as trustee then they will have the power to access and manage the trust funds for the benefit of the trust... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Why would anyone use an irrevocable trust as part of their estate plan?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Sep 25, 2018

There are many reasons to use an irrevocable trust, but here are two quick ones. One, an irrevocable trust can be used to remove assets from your taxable estate, so if you have an estate that exceeds the current estate tax exemption levels ($11.18 million per person) you may want to use an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: is a person listed on a affidavit responsible for anything when they sell everything and give all the money to her

brother life partner.ex taxes

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Sep 5, 2018

I am not sure I understand your question. Are you referring to the Transfer by Affidavit used for probate estates worth $50,000 or less in Wisconsin? If so, the person who completes this Affidavit is swearing to collect the property and assume a duty to transfer the property according to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Does the executor of an estate get paid for their work?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Aug 22, 2018

Yes, in Wisconsin we call the Executor of an Estate under a Will a "Personal Representative" and the Personal Representative is entitled to 2% of the inventory value of the property for which the personal representative is responsible, less any mortgages or liens plus net principal gains... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Im searching for an attorney to do my living will i am on a fixed income.
Bryan Thomas Kroes
Bryan Thomas Kroes answered on Aug 9, 2018

A living will is an excellent addition to any estate plan. It is a good idea to consult an experienced attorney to assist you with that process.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: What kind of trust is best for me if I am remarried after a divorce and have adult children?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Aug 4, 2018

A revocable living trust will provide a variety of good options for you. You could structure your trust so that after you pass your assets provide income for life to your current spouse, with the principal passing to your children upon your surviving spouse's death. You could also provide your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Is a handwritten, signed, dated, non notarized change on a revocable trust legal in WI? This cut out 1 of the 5 children

My wife is the co-executor (along with her stepsister) of her stepmothers trust. She made this amendment 1 year before her death and told both of the executors verbally. She had intentions of going to a lawyer to finalize this but never made it. She also included justification for this change... Read more »

Michael Hales
Michael Hales answered on Jun 29, 2018

I'm a little confused with some of the facts here, but I can answer any questions you have about the timeshare matter. I recently wrote an article about legal options regarding timeshares that you can access here: https://www.targheelaw.com/article

If you have any questions about that...
Read more »

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